Representation by The Twickenham Coalition, Part 1 – INTRODUCTION, GENERAL COMMENTS
This written representation to the Transport and Air Quality Committee speaks for The Twickenham Coalition which was formed in February this year. The Twickenham Coalition is supported by Doug Orchard as Chair of the Twickenham Society, Mac McInerny of the Heatham Alliance community group, the York House Society, Eel Pie Island Association and the Upper Tideway Branch of the River Thames Society, as well as individual members of the local community.
The Twickenham Coalition seeks the best for Twickenham and is committed to seeing Richmond Council’s Twickenham Riverside project achieve the following aims:
- To revitalise our unique and very special riverside and promote the use of the river
- To provide a focal point for the town where the community and visitors come to socialise daily and attend special events
- To deliver a magnet for visitors to the town, a strengthened local economy and a thriving centre for the community of people who live and work in Twickenham.
We welcome the emphasis on people over vehicles and reducing pollution on The Embankment along with proper mitigation of the impacts on residents and businesses in the town centre.
We seek an inclusive approach with special focus on the needs of people and businesses in the town centre as a whole, including residents and activities on The Embankment, the new development itself and its visitors, King Street, Water Lane, Eel Pie Island, Church Street, Church Lane and Bell Lane.
This representation addresses the report ‘Twickenham Riverside Development – Parking and Servicing’ presented to the Committee by Richmond Council’s Director of Environment & Community Services. The report describes revised parking proposals and new proposals for servicing and access and recommends that these be adopted by Members of the Committee.
2. GENERAL COMMENTS
The immediate impression is that this report does not reflect the functions of Twickenham town centre as a hub for retail and hospitality activities, boatyards and other businesses, waterborne sports, entertainment, social functions and civil/church services. For example, the report makes no mention of the weekly Farmers’ Market, which takes up half of the spaces in the Holly Road Car Park on Saturdays.
The report refers to business permits and business parking spaces and has just one mention of business needs (unspecified).
This situation stems from the absence of a proper survey of visits to the town centre, their duration, frequency and purpose(s), days of the week and times, points of departure and arrival, modes of transport, usual parking places, etc and this results in the report’s apparent lack of understanding of the needs of residents, visitors, workers and businesses in Twickenham. This in turn detracts very seriously from the basis necessary to make conclusions and recommendations for parking, servicing and access for the Twickenham Riverside site and Twickenham town centre.
The report is not clear about its aims in terms of objectives for provision of parking, servicing and access, which makes it impossible to determine with certainty whether any of the proposals recommended in the report meet the Council’s aims and the needs of Twickenham.